This mixed firm is among the German market leaders in patent prosecution and patent litigation to an equal extent. BP has had a turbulent time in every respect. The lawyers had the sudden death of internationally well-regarded managing partner Peter Hess to cope with. The litigation practice also grew with a four-strong team around former Freshfields partner Chrocziel. This not only brought connections to Audi, Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard, but valuable expertise in antitrust, and broadened the comparatively slim litigation practice. BP also enjoyed success in client work. The firm was visible as ever in mobile communications cases, especially in what is probably the largest dispute before the German courts at present, for NPE Intellectual Ventures against various mobile communications providers. Having long been present in the healthcare sector, litigation for Amgen regarding Praluent and 10X Genomics involving microfluid chips was important progress. A dispute for Adidas against Nike and extensive prosecution work for the auto and semiconductor industry showed how Bardehle is primarily an industry firm. So it was no surprise that the firm is also involved in the major proceedings between Avago and Audi/VW for co-litigator Nvidia. Given the large number of auto manufacturers and suppliers, e.g. Audi, BMW or Kuka, among clients, the hot topic of connected cars is just the tip of the iceberg for BP.
This mixed patents team is still among Germany’s undisputed market leaders for patent litigation. The lawyers are better positioned than the up-and-coming patent attorney team. Clients from a wide array of industries trust in B&B, although the integrated, mixed team has seen stronger years (regular client Nokia has been somewhat restrained with active suits). The team is especially active in major proceedings for medical product manufacturers like Fisher & Paykel and Edwards Lifescience. Envipco’s lawsuit against the German bottle deposit system is attracting much attention. Even without class actions for Nokia, the firm underscored its strong position in mobile communications suits with the Technicolor/Thomson litigation. One fly in the ointment is that B&B is that conflicts of interest have prevented B&B from getting involved in the first wave of suits against auto manufacturers concerning connected cars. Constant staff development in this huge litigation team contributed to the practice’s successful development, as did the further expansion of a dedicated prosecution practice. Although the patent attorneys specialize in litigation, they are constantly building on prosecution – provided that this does not create conflicts of interest for litigation. While the Hamburg team managed patents for Airbus, the Munich office handled the portfolio of chemicals company Emery and medical product manufacturer B. Braun Melsungen. In view of the conflict-ridden work in the pharmaceuticals and mobile communications sectors, this is a clever – albeit limited – opportunity to expand the field. Competitors like Hogan Lovells are increasingly imitating this successful strategy, but unlike B&B they do not dare to tackle prosecution just yet.
This market-leading patent litigation practice had another outstanding year. HL is omnipresent in both mobile communications proceedings, where it litigated for four parties (Vodafone, Google, LG and ZTE) in the major dispute against Intellectual Ventures, and in the pharmaceuticals sector, with clients like Merck, Eli Lilly and Hoffmann La Roche. The German team is the powerhouse of the extremely strong European patents group. But apart from all the litigation success, the year was marked by strategic changes, both positive and negative. The tragic death of Dr. Martin Chakraborty in summer 2018 shocked the firm. He had long fought on the side of HTC and recently litigated for Vodafone against Intellectual Ventures. The sector also took note when the patents team, which is already large by comparison, appointed young litigators to partner again, one in Düsseldorf and one in Munich. The addition of a patent attorney experienced in mobile communications as counsel demonstrated what the market has long been watching closely: HL is building its own patent attorney team. Besides two dual-qualified partners, this now includes four other patent attorneys. They only support the litigation team with their technical expertise and do not file patents. The change at the top of the international IP practice from von Falck to soft IP lawyer and European managing partner Dr. Burkhart Goebel is another turning point. Competitors believe that the German team will thus have less influence within the European patents group – a scenario that would be quite feasible.Further Analysis
This European IP boutique is at the absolute top of the market for patent litigation by lawyers in Germany. The firm most impressed the market with litigation in numerous major patent battles, especially for long-time regular clients. Kanz and team litigated for Gilead in the internationally complex SPC precedent case involving HIV drug Truvada. The firm also landed prestigious new clients. Haft’s team worked for Apple in a billion-euro dispute over a Qualcomm patent. The good relationship with Intel, the iPhone manufacturer’s chip supplier, was the door opener here. The patents practice is also involved in the first suit against the auto industry concerning mobile communications patents for connected cars. A team around the respected partner Haft also litigated for regular client Continental as co-litigant in the Broadcom/Avago suit against VW and Audi. The Hoyng Monegier and ROKH merger was just three years ago, but cross-border cooperation is getting better and better. The highest profile example is litigation for ASML/Carl Zeiss regarding machines for the production of storage media by the Amsterdam and Düsseldorf offices. The firm went the next step surprisingly quickly in summer 2018 and merged with French patent litigation boutique Véron & Associés, thus bolstering its Paris patent litigation team, which was relatively small compared to Düsseldorf and Amsterdam, with renowned litigation specialists.Further Analysis
The sheer number of proceedings (no other German firm conducts more litigation at present), extremely good ties in the court city Düsseldorf and the huge appeal of Verhauwen secure KM a top position among the German patent litigation firms. In mobile communications proceedings the firm fights on the side of pure NPEs but also for the industry-oriented MPEG4-Pool and its members. This dispute alone gave rise to many proceedings and vast know-how in SEP and FRAND issues. Away from the MPEG4-Pool, industry clients like Saint-Gobain retain KM less frequently than Hogan Lovells, Bird & Bird and Rospatt, although KM does boast its own industry contacts. Good patent attorney connections and numerous proceedings involving various technologies from the high-end Mittelstand ensure a high utilization rate. In pharmaceuticals litigation the firm is less active than direct competitors, e.g. Rospatt and Wildanger.Further Analysis
The developments seen in this market-leading patent litigation practice could not have contrasted more. Following two quiet years by QE’s standards, the litigation for Qualcomm against Apple led to a huge rise in litigation work. In terms of case numbers, the practice is almost on a par with Düsseldorf boutiques. The fact that Grosch’s team masters mobile communications patents and the enforcement of these before the courts to such an extent is largely thanks to close ties with Google. But the years in which the Quinn team alone litigated for the Internet giant in Germany are over. Hogan Lovells is now in on the Google action too. More relevant in terms of the patents team’s development, however, was that the firm finally succeeded in providing long-awaited, high-profile pharmaceuticals litigation for Pfizer. But the firm suffered a loss: Ebersohl one of the three partners, went to Allen & Overy. Though he was not the most visible partner, his departure is a setback to the urgently required broadening of the practice. The firm is hoping to compensate for this by three counsel appointments. Further staff growth is also necessary if the firm wants to survive against Hogan Lovells or Bird & Bird in cross-border litigation, incl. before the UPC.Further Analysis
Supported by a young partnership, this Düsseldorf law firm is a market leader for patent litigation. Although it does not reach the high case numbers of competitor Krieger Mes, ROP conducts more litigation than many other German litigation teams. The firm boasts a broader technical positioning than Krieger Mes, as the lawyers are seen in both high-level pharmaceuticals and mobile communications suits. ROP is only active here on the side of industry/originators. In the major patent battles, teamwork between the ROP partners is more consistent than in other boutiques – a competitive advantage in cross-border proceedings.Further Analysis
This IP firm is still one of the most active litigation outfits in Düsseldorf and has a large number of visible partners in its ranks compared to local competitors. They litigate within a balanced technical spectrum ranging from pharmaceuticals and mobile communications patents to electronics and mechanics patents – which not every Düsseldorf boutique can claim. But mobile communications proceedings are the most notable specialty at present, largely due to extensive work for NPEs. Work defending regular client LG against an NPE suit by Conversant contributed to this. This shows how Wildanger fights on both the industry and NPE side in equal measure. Thanks to experience in SEP suits and FRAND aspects, the firm is likely to make the shortlist for connected cars litigation in the future, though it is not active in the Broadcom suit against Audi/VW.Further Analysis
This litigation team is at the forefront of the market in the lawyer scene. Of all the leading litigation firms FBD has the smallest team following the move of renowned Munich partner Chrocziel, but it is still very hard-hitting. The Düsseldorf team, with the experienced and highly visible Hufnagel and the young yet established Prinz zu Waldeck und Pyrmont, conducts high-profile proceedings for loyal clients. In the series of proceedings for Apple and Nikon, FBD works closely with Hogan Lovells lawyers due to its team size and the complexity of the case. Cooperation with the patents teams in London and Amsterdam is intensifying – a good development in view of the UPC. In the overall firm’s ongoing strategy of maintaining a stronger focus, this should also help the patents team to unlock further growth potential. Despite the reduced headcount, the team is well positioned in telecoms cases and is seen at a high level in pharmaceuticals proceedings, with litigation for notable regular clients like Bayer or Novartis.Further Analysis
This large and renowned patent litigation team is praised by competitors for its expertise in pharmaceuticals proceedings. TW is also increasingly visible in mobile communications litigation for Asus and ZTE, but lost two salary partners active in mobile communications suits in Düsseldorf. The team could absorb this loss on the whole thanks to its strong headcount, but it was a blow for the Düsseldorf team, which was already too small. Through its traditionally strong pharmaceuticals specialty, TW made headway in the mechanics, electronics and auto sectors, with new clients like Valeo. In mobile communications, a growing visibility in Asia could bear further fruit. Having focused before now on China and Japan, TW has now widened activity to Korea and Taiwan with advice to notable companies.Further Analysis
This Düsseldorf IP boutique is known for its strong litigation team, which is often active in game-changing patent proceedings. Arnold fought for ECC in the dispute over coffee capsules and Schumacher plays a central role in various proceedings for Hexal, e.g. regarding the second medical use of active ingredient fulvestrant. The lawyers, who competitors praise for their “high quality” and “excellent work and good service”, frequently enter new technical and legal territory. AR was successful for the second time for client Celltrion in the dispute over biosimilars, imitations of biotechnologically produced biologics that are regarded as a future trend in medicine. The dispute between Sisvel and Haier now pending at the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) has turned into the lead proceedings in FRAND case law. The team is active in complex mobile communications proceedings for a number of notable clients, among them Nokia and ZTE. While the client list is impressive, AR suffered some staff losses. For the first time in its history, it lost three lawyers at once (to Vossius), incl. a counsel experienced in the mobile communications sector, who took client Wiko with him. In response, AR hired a counsel from PwC Legal and 2 associates.Further Analysis
The major strength of this market-leading patents team lies in its unusually large prosecution practice with broad technical know-how. The firm’s ties among auto suppliers and chip manufacturers paid dividends: together with Klaka, the litigation team conducted what was perhaps the year’s most important series of proceedings before the German patent courts, the first high-profile case involving connected car patents, for Broadcom/Avogo against Audi/VW. The team had already worked for Broadcom concerning chips for games consoles. With the connected cars case, the lawyers finally made the breakthrough into major proceedings. Up until then, only the patent attorneys had gained recognition in major mobile communications proceedings. But Grünecker’s mixed approach is well established. The large prosecution practice, to which few competitors across Europe can compare, gives rise to a multitude of nullity suits and infringement proceedings in a broad technical spectrum. In comparison to Vossius and Hoffmann Eitle, pharmaceuticals litigation only plays a minor role. Grünecker is somewhat more strongly positioned when it comes to medical products. With only two partners, the lawyer litigation team will have to boost its litigation team and, like Vossius, grow in Düsseldorf to raise its clout for the UPC.
This mixed IP firm is among the market-leading practices on the patent attorney side, but the litigation team is also excellently positioned when it comes to pharmaceuticals suits. HE has now raised the headcount of its prosecution team and underscored the importance of this by appointing four partners from its own young patent attorneys. The renowned litigation practice was expanded with an associate lawyer in Munich. The Düsseldorf litigation team, however, still needs reinforcements, partly because the litigators do not enjoy a similar standing in other sectors to that seen in pharmaceuticals proceedings. In major mobile communications proceedings, for example, it is mainly the patent attorneys who are visible, e.g. for Ericsson against IPCom concerning UMTS patents. Competitor Vossius has overtaken HE here by ramping up its Düsseldorf litigation team with laterals. But HE is expanding its European network. As well as offices in Milan and Madrid, which have grown by foreign fee earners, the firm launched in Amsterdam with a Dutch patent attorney – a logical step as covering the Dutch market from Düsseldorf was not a huge success.
This small Düsseldorf IP boutique is renowned throughout Germany for patent litigation, especially for mobile communications patents. KA’s involvement in the first major suit against the auto sector concerning connected cars was a sensation. The firm litigated for the main defendants Audi and VW, two long-time clients of Kather. In the extensive proceedings all five partners plus associates work as a well-oiled team. The practice also brings its strengths into play in traditional mobile communications proceedings and litigated for Ericsson against Wiko in a major series involving LTE and mobile communications standards. KA also works for regular clients from the healthcare sector, e.g. medical product manufacturer Coloplast in an international suit over urinary catheters. Although compared to others nationwide it only has a midsized team, KA covers an immense technical breadth for clients from almost all sectors – incl. many international industrial clients and German Mittelstand companies.Further Analysis
The patent litigation team of this IP boutique is active in an unusually large number of high-profile proceedings despite its small size. The most notable example here is the joint preparation of a suit for Broadcom/Avago with Grünecker in the much-observed dispute against VW/Audi over semiconductor patents. As the first case involving connected cars, this is groundbreaking. The team also works for ZTE and Wiko in mobile communications cases – but generally on the defendant side in NPE suits. Numerous large Mittelstand companies are also among regular clients, primarily for mechanics patents. In a dispute involving special dowels, Klaka was successful for Fischerwerke before Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court (Oberlandesgericht). Work in pharmaceuticals patents is not as visible.Further Analysis
This mixed IP firm is a market leader in patents: besides an extremely strongly positioned prosecution practice, Vossius is vigorously expanding its litigation team. Filing activity is very extensive and internationally focused among the German firms and centers on biotechnology. This frequently manifests itself in numerous opposition suits and appeal proceedings at the EPO, e.g. for CRISPR Therapeutics. Vossius also enjoys a strong position among pharmaceuticals and medical product manufacturers, as shown in the extensive litigation for ResMed and Boston Scientific. Vossius is also gaining ground in electronics and mobile communications patents, based on filing work for Asian corporates, especially LG. The expansion of the China desk is making an impact, as shown by litigation for ZTE. In general, Vossius is enhancing its litigation team more than most competitors. The focus here is on Düsseldorf, where a team of three joined from Arnold Ruess, among them Kramer, who is experienced in mobile communications and brought Wiko as a new client. The lawyers also litigated for another mobile communications provider in an NPE suit. The Munich litigation team has a strength in medical products.
In patent prosecution, Boehmert is indisputably among the leading firms. It boasts one of the larger headcounts in Europe and some of the highest filing figures. Patents are filed within a broad technical spectrum for a multitude of innovative Mittelstand companies, but like many Munich firms Boehmert also boasts a strong track record for international corporates like Huawei, Intel and LG. Boehmert actively litigates with mixed teams, primarily for Mittelstand clients. The firm is currently not visible in the major mobile communications battles, although it files many patents for these clients. Visibility is much stronger in pharmaceuticals litigation. The patent attorneys are considered experienced in litigation, but the team of lawyers too small compared to the market leaders.
Traditionally, this litigation practice chiefly represents German Mittelstand companies in infringement proceedings before German courts. But CMS also stepped up cross-border work, where it is benefiting from its ties to other patents teams from the CMS network – an important step for a promising position at the UPC. One prime example is advice to an Israeli household products manufacturer, for whom the German litigators worked with the German Olswang patent attorneys for the first time since the merger of CMS Cameron McKenna and Olswang in London. Because of the strong focus on the auto supply industry and the development of technology towards e-mobility, the team is branching into advice related to telecoms, for instance in connection with electronic control and navigation. CMS also boasts a traditional strength in the medical technology and pharmaceuticals sector, where the patents team advises regular client Bayer and some other notable names.Further Analysis
Sonntag’s patent litigation practice has a very solid client base in an array of technical fields, especially pharmaceuticals, telecoms, consumer electronics and consumer goods. GL was again involved in the pharmaceuticals sector’s major international disputes on the side of regular clients. Since of counsel Bopp only litigates in selected cases, the team has a narrow setup, which cannot keep step with the dynamic progress made by some market leaders. Nevertheless, the team shows that it has the potential to make a play for the top of the market, with prominent cases like that for Gillette against Wilkinson concerning razor blades. But GL will have to build up capacities if it is to handle more cases of this caliber simultaneously. This would also improve the firm’s starting position for the UPC.Further Analysis
Kellenter’s patent litigation team was active again in numerous series of proceedings, often in combined teams with other litigation firms like Krieger Mes. In recent years, Kellenter’s work for NPEs like IPCom and Fipa slightly overshadowed the fact that HM is actually an industry firm, but now the latter clients have come back to the fore. A major series of proceedings for Saint-Gobain against 3M and work for Brita and GE subsidiary Concept Laser bear witness to this. On the side of Maxim Integrated as co-litigant for Samsung against Fundamental Innovations System, the team showed how it also litigates on the industry side in NPE suits. The team manages this balancing act because its industry clients have so far stemmed from sectors that NPEs have yet to take action against concerning connectivity. The team is sturdy with Kellenter as the only partner, but remains limited for UPC proceedings because of its small size.Further Analysis
Like Bird & Bird, JD has opted for a mixed approach with a well-positioned litigation practice and strong prosecution practice for much longer than other law firms. The latter practice raised its patent attorney headcount. Both filing and litigation centre on international biotech and pharmaceuticals companies. The team has an asset in the close ties to offices in the global firm network, as JD litigated in a host of pharmaceuticals proceedings in various countries. The German litigation team is also active in proceedings involving mechanics or engineering patents. Mobile communications is still uncharted territory, although increasing car connectivity could be to JD’s advantage, as the patent attorney team boasts notable international auto suppliers as clients.
This mixed IP firm is among the market leaders in patents, largely as it operates a very internationally oriented prosecution practice with such notable clients as Facebook and Johnson Controls. MB also boasts an agile litigation team around Wuttke, which is positioning itself ever better for mobile communications proceedings from Munich; Deutsche Telekom is engaging MB for more and more cases. In line with the prosecution practice’s client structure, the lawyers are also active across a broad technical spectrum, ranging from litigation in mechanics patents for ITW to child seats for Cybex. The launch in Düsseldorf with Fitzner was important for the firm overall. He is dual-qualified as a lawyer and patent attorney, specializes in chemicals, biochemicals and chemical engineering and brings important connections to BASF. MBP also brought long-time Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof) judge Prof. Klaus-Jürgen Melullis on board as of counsel.
In patents, this law firm is best known for litigation across Germany. It also advises on all other matters related to technical protection rights, though patent filing is not provided. PBP’s reputation still precedes it among German patent attorneys, so it is called upon in a large number of proceedings for the German Mittelstand. In contrast to this, Donle boasts close ties to Huawei, for whom it conducts extensive mobile communications litigation, e.g. against NPE Conversant. After the turbulent times of 2016 and 2017 with numerous departures, PBP is now enjoying a turnaround. The basis for this is a new management structure in which younger partners are taking on responsibility. The reconstruction of the shaken Düsseldorf office was also a success thanks to several laterals, among them a partner from Taylor Wessing and an experienced counsel from Klaka. Hoppe, who joined in 2017 from Harte-Bavendamm, was soon integrated in Hamburg. But PBP has yet to return fully to its old strength. The increasing interoffice cooperation between partners is pointing in the right direction if PBP is to be competitive at the UPC.Further Analysis
The litigation work of the German patents group in pharmaceuticals and, increasingly, biosimilar patents is impressive. Bayer and Boehringer are two heavy hitters on the regular client list. S&S is also branching vehemently into litigation involving biosimilars on the side of Samsung Bioepis, where integration between the German team and the other European offices is impressive. Work for the life science sector has been emerging since June 2018 with the departure of Dr. Thomas Adam, who specialised in mechanics patent litigation and was the only partner in Munich active entirely in patents. His move is also a blow for the practice’s European ambitions, as he gave S&S a face at the important Munich office. The patents team will not be able to avoid growing with a notable lateral – even more so if it wants to build on its initial success in mobile communications litigation. Here, the firm is finally visible again in a mobile communications suit for Axdia as co-litigant for Google against Philips.Further Analysis
This German patents practice around Feldges focuses largely on litigation and remains well positioned in pharmaceuticals proceedings. High-profile cases in this sector include work for Pfizer (regarding Lyrica) and Hoffmann-La Roche. A&O also landed a major German chemicals and pharmaceuticals corporate in cooperation with the strong British team. But the most important event for the German practice was the long-hoped-for partner reinforcement for mobile communications cases. Up-and-coming expert in this field Ebersohl joined in December 2017 and quickly took on the practice’s highest profile mobile communications client, Archos. Converting his connections to Google into work for A&O will not be a matter of course, as the Internet giant only recently hired another top-level firm for litigation in Germany alongside Quinn Emanuel in the shape of Hogan Lovells. Regarding the UPC, there is room to raise the visibility of the Düsseldorf office and the team is still too small.Further Analysis
This small IP boutique occupies a niche as a flexible patent litigation specialist on the side of NPEs and innovative Mittelstand companies. By bringing in Neels as a second patent partner, the firm is taking the next step towards establishing a broader and harder-hitting team. The new partner conducts infringement proceedings for MTU Aero Engines, thus reinforcing the firm’s core Mittelstand client base. In infringement proceedings the firm litigated for glasses manufacturer Clic Googles. But Ampersand is also well positioned on the side of NPEs. Haag litigated for Unwired Planet and Munitech again, and now Conversant, in major series of proceedings.Further Analysis
The German patents team of this international firm boasts a renowned litigation specialist, Herr, who is dual-qualified as a patent attorney. B&M therefore conducts a host of separate nullity and opposition suits and is hired increasingly often by clients like Becton Dickinson and RealID for infringement proceedings and opposition suits. A respectable portion of proceedings are conducted with other offices in the international network. But B&M is nowhere near as visible in cross-border proceedings as market leaders Hogan Lovells and Bird & Bird, because the team has so far been missing from the major pharmaceuticals and mobile communications cases. Another partner could improve the starting conditions for the UPC by helping to leverage the network’s huge potential.Further Analysis
DLA’s team focusing on patent litigation has taken crucial development steps, like building up a small Cologne team around Cepl since summer 2017. He boasts experience in pharmaceuticals suits, which he has already brought into play for Medtronic. The team is set to serve the Düsseldorf market. But the German and European practice centres on the Munich team around Gampp, who had an excellent year in mobile communications proceedings. His litigation for auto supplier Harman as the central co-litigant for VW/Audi in the Avago suit involving connected cars was an important step. DLA also landed its first work for a US mobile communications company. The firm thus has an established Munich practice after just a few years.Further Analysis
After Holzapfel’s arrival last year, the German patents team of this US firm has developed into a visible practice for chemicals and pharmaceuticals litigation, and even more so for advice to the auto industry on connected cars. However, the firm was absent from the first major suit by Broadcom against various industry participants, incl. regular client Harman due to conflicts of interest. Even according to competitors, Holzapfel is very visible in the industry’s standardization processes regarding connected cars from Düsseldorf. He also litigates often for auto suppliers, e.g. ZF Friedrichshafen. The team, which has a similar specialty in Munich, could thus tap much more potential in the future, with more mobile communications suits against the auto industry expected. But the arrival of Holzapfel is just the beginning, if the European practice hopes to benefit more from the strong US practice’s huge client base, especially at the UPC.Further Analysis
Very active for a long time for NPEs, competitors are keen to describe Noerr as a “pure NPE firm” in patents. But the team, which is highly visible in patent litigation, is seeing a transformation. In line with Noerr’s actual orientation as an industry firm, it is increasingly working for production companies, e.g. for generics manufacturer TAD Pharma in the pharmaceuticals sector and for an auto manufacturer in mobile communications. Advisory work has always centred on industry companies, a clientele for whom the patents team is also looking to litigate. But this plan is putting the close ties to the patent attorneys at Bosch Jehle to the test. Both teams became known for litigation in NPE suits, which gave them both much experience with mobile communications suits and FRAND issues that few competitors have.Further Analysis
Since the mid-2017 arrival of Gruber, this leading firm for employee invention law has been more active in infringement proceedings and nullity suits, thanks to Gruber’s wealth of experience. The Munich and Cologne team quickly capitalised on the joint potential to advance the practice, as the Cologne employee invention law team’s first-class client base and Gruber’s litigation clients offer room to grow the practice. But this client base also brings limitations: despite the Munich team’s experience in mobile communications suits and many contacts in the German auto industry thanks to the Cologne team, CBH is not represented in the first wave of proceedings involving connected cars as it litigated for both Avago and VW in other recent disputes. Its strong roots in German industry also limit CBH’s chance of playing a greater role in mobile communications proceedings. CBH currently lacks international contacts, especially in Asia and the US.Further Analysis
The patents practice of this Hamburg IP firm frequently litigates for long-standing clients from the healthcare and food sectors. The team delivered success in an injunction before Munich Regional Court (Landgericht) for generics manufacturer Aliud Pharma in a dispute against Gilead concerning HIV drug Truvada. HU is constantly branching into new sectors, e.g. the packaging and consumer goods industry, for whom it litigates and files patents. The very small filing practice got in position early on in future-oriented fields like e-mobility and smart medicine – for instance filing a patent for a new medicine capsule for US medical technology company Progenity.Further Analysis
This team from the full-service firm is best known in Düsseldorf for litigation and is gaining momentum. It not only grew its associate base, but also widened the technical scope of litigation work through an increased volume of instructions. Only pharmaceuticals proceedings still play a minor role – quite unlike those related to medical technology. The team was involved in its first proceedings concerning high-tech patents, e.g. for Bel Fuse (high-speed data cables). The team is helped in this development by its close ties to patent attorney firms like Cohausz & Florack, as well as intensive cooperation with the partner firms in Heuking’s WSG network. Horn worked with Dorda in Vienna for Echosens concerning medical technology. But the specialty is still litigation for Mittelstand clients concerning highly specialised technologies – e.g. for Sisgrass involving modern surfaces for sports facilities.Further Analysis
The patent litigation team of this primarily deal-driven firm has a good name for pharmaceuticals litigation. The lawyers are active in two international battles for Shire and a US biotech company. The practice continued its positive development elsewhere too by broadening its technical know-how. Schönbohm’s team conducted cross-border litigation for Seoul Semiconductors concerning LEDs. Both the Korean LED manufacturer and Shire show the direction the young German team is looking to move in: more high-volume proceedings working closely with the patents teams in London and Paris. Linklaters has higher ambitions in such cross-border proceedings and with regard to the UPC, but lacks a more visible team in Düsseldorf. Further partner additions would be a logical move.Further Analysis
With a large prosecution practice and a litigation team that is gaining momentum, Maiwald is striving for the top of the market. Its mixed approach works smoothly, a result of the new management structure. Maiwald enhanced its lawyer branch two years ago to attract more litigation work. With Stief, the lawyers have since been prominently represented in the partnership and management. His huge rise in visibility was also key here. Maiwald was thus able to absorb the loss of partner Mayer. Both professional groups are now extremely visible in pharmaceuticals proceedings. So it is almost like old times, when the firm was seen as a pharmaceuticals boutique. But the initial impression is deceptive, because the prosecution practice has long had great technical breadth. Prosecution clients like Huawei and Intel could act as door openers to mobile communications cases. Raising the lawyer headcount in Düsseldorf would be a logical next step in the enhancement of the litigation team and in view of the UPC.
This IP boutique has a busy filing practice for a largely international client base. With its mixed approach PS is especially active in disputes. The firm conducts many opposition suits for clients like BorgWarner and Bose. But Peterreins and Schley are also conducting a series of nullity suits and infringement proceedings for Boston Scientific concerning heart valve prostheses, with some success. The practice got a boost in mid-2018 with well-known Munich litigator Adam joining as partner, bringing new client Airbus with him. The firm also welcomed a patent attorney from regular client BorgWarner. PS thus has a broad technical setup, only pharmaceuticals patents do not play a strong role.Further Analysis
Since early 2017, this spinoff of Olswang’s Paris and Munich lawyers has positioned itself as a European IP boutique with what competitors describe as a forward-looking international approach for a boutique. The outfit’s aim is to play in the arena for high-end, cross-border litigation. In Munich, the German team around Lynker quickly carved out a prominent position in the Munich market. And in Paris, its second most important office, Talens enjoys a good name for patent litigation. The German team was able to take former Olswang clients like ZTE and TCL with them. The initial success was also down to Lynker being able to quickly land new clients, e.g. Israeli company Orckit IP and a notable pharmaceuticals company. The team soon grew with an experienced associate from Allen & Overy and an of counsel from Infineon.Further Analysis
The selection of law firms in the above table reflects the research of the editorial staff at JUVE and is based on interviews with clients, lawyers and academics. It remains a subjective view and implies no disparagement of any firm not mentioned here but which is nevertheless active in this field. The firms are alphabetically listed within the groups.
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